Superfund sites to see cleanup with funds from infrastructure bill

Via Flickr.

Eleanor Hildebrandt | December 17, 2021

49 Superfund sites across the U.S. will see clean-up efforts after the passing of a $1 billion bipartisan infrastructure law.

Superfund sites are polluted areas with hazardous waste all over the country. The locations are designated under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. There are sites in 24 states and Puerto Rico. The Environmental Protection Agency announced it would start clearing out a backlog of the contaminated sides after the passing of the infrastructure plan. The bill set aside $3.5 billion for environmental cleanup according to NBC News. This round is only the first installation of funds to clean up the sites, beginning with $1 billion.

The sites are disproportionately found in lower income communities where people of color live. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said one in four Black and Hispanic Americans live within three miles of a site. According to The Hill, this funding will go to almost 50 different sites in the U.S. to begin projects to better understand and clean up the hazardous waste. The project will only begin to chip away at the long backlog of Superfund sites that need cleaned up.

Volunteers cleanup RAGBRAI

Photo by tkerugger, Flickr

Volunteers around Iowa are making sure RAGBRAI destinations are as clean as they were before thousands of cyclists came through. In Coralville, over 50 people helped cleanup S.T. Morrison Park last Saturday after the riders left town. With this strong volunteer effort it only took a few hours to restore the park to its usual condition. The Press-Citizen reports that the expediency of the cleanup was aided by the responsibility of the RAGBRAI participants:

Kyle Soukup, who coordinated the cleanup, said RAGBRAI riders generally were pretty clean and did not expect the cleanup to take more than a few hours.

“The nice thing about RAGBRAI is they clean up after themselves,” he said. “We’ll go around and get the big piles (of trash). We’ll canvass the park and get the cups. The goal is when we’re done, you can’t tell 30,000 people were here.” Continue reading